Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right: A Critical Guide (NDPR review)

Gabriel Gottlieb (ed.), Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right: A Critical Guide, Cambridge University Press, 2016, 272pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781107078147.
Reviewed by George di Giovanni, McGill University

This collection of twelve uniformly instructive essays is intended as a guide to Fichte's Foundations of Natural Right (1796). It is a welcome contribution to the current burgeoning Fichte scholarship. Two issues run across the collection. One is the relation of Fichte's concept of right to the moral law as defined by Kant's categorical imperative. The other is Fichte's attempted derivation of the concept from the absolute I, in the course of which he introduces the further concept of "summon" to define the specifically legal relation of individual to individual in society. This "summon" is perhaps the most characteristic feature of Fichte's theory of right. In one way or another, all the contributors have to come to terms with it. But, precisely because they...

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